Q4 e-commerce growth halves for UK shoppers
Written by Hannah McGrath
Digital commerce growth to UK retail sites grew just four per cent in the final quarter of 2018, down from eight per cent the previous year, according to Salesforce Commerce Cloud, while mobile continued to dominate growth in traffic and orders.
The latest quarterly Shopping Index from the cloud-based software giant analysed the activity and trends of more than 500 million shoppers spread across 1,000 digital commerce sites in 36 countries.
The figures showed that in the crucial holiday shopping period from October to December, revenues at UK e-commerce sites lagged well behind a worldwide growth rate of 13 per cent, which itself was down one per cent on the same period in 2017.
However, despite consumer confidence and heavy discounting, the data showed that UK consumers are increasingly switching from desktop and tablet devices to mobile to do their online shopping, with mobile traffic to e-commerce sites up 10 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2018.
Visits from computers were down five per cent, with traffic via tablets down seven per cent on a UK-wide basis.
However, mobile transactions provided a much-needed boost for UK retailers, with orders placed up 15 per cent, driving overall growth in orders to UK retailers of three per cent.
When compared to the fourth quarter of 2017 - when mobile orders grew 34 per cent and overall orders were up 10 per cent - the figures pointed to greater caution on the part of UK consumers.
Overall, UK traffic to e-commerce websites was up five per cent, compared to a worldwide jump in traffic of 10 per cent over the holiday shopping period.
Meanwhile, on a worldwide basis, m-commerce continued to dominate both traffic and order growth, up 21 per cent and 36 per cent respectively, for the final three months of 2018.
When order share and traffic were broken down by device, mobile took 46 per cent of the total interactions, overtaking desktop computer on 45 per cent, with tablet trailing behind on eight per cent.
This marks a rapid shift from computer to mobile shopping, with mobile on 40 per cent of order and traffic share in the last three months of 2017, compared with 51 per cent for computer.